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Prosecutor questions woman in Arizona murder case

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 22, 2013 at 12:02 pm •  Published: February 22, 2013

PHOENIX (AP) — A woman charged in the stabbing and shooting death of her Arizona lover traded barbs with a prosecutor under a withering cross-examination as she struggled to explain why she can recall precise details of her life from years earlier, yet can't remember crucial aspects of the murder case against her.

Jodi Arias, 32, faces a potential death sentence if convicted of first-degree murder in the June 2008 killing of Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. She was testifying for a ninth day Thursday as the prosecution began its cross-examination, hammering her with questions about her apparent selective memory.

Questioning grew so heated Thursday that the judge admonished Arias and prosecutor Juan Martinez to stop talking over each other. Arias smirked at times while Martinez stammered in frustration.

Trial is set to resume Monday.

Alternating between tears and poise, Arias has testified in painstaking detail about the events that led her to kill Alexander, she says in self-defense.

Yet when asked for details from the day of the killing, she didn't recall much.

"Do you have memory problems, ma'am?" Martinez asked.

"Sometimes," Arias replied.

Martinez hammered back, noting it's puzzling that she can't remember such crucial details to the case, yet "can tell us what kind of coffee you bought at Starbucks sometime back in 2008."

"When do you have memory problems? Martinez asked, raising his voice.

"Usually when men like you are screaming at me or grilling me or someone like Travis," Arias replied calmly.

Martinez also questioned her contention that she was monogamous throughout her relationship with the victim while referring to Arias' previous testimony that the day she killed him, she went to visit a man in Utah and slept in his bed, kissing and cuddling.

She said she didn't know Alexander was dead when she left his home, noting her memory from that day has "huge gaps."

"At that point you didn't know, according to your own story, that Mr. Alexander was dead, right?" Martinez snapped.

"I guess I knew. I just wasn't expecting it," Arias said softly. "I wasn't really in my own mind."

"Make up your mind, please," Martinez responded sharply.

Arias testified on Wednesday she recalled little about the day of the killing. She remembers Alexander in a rage, body slamming her and chasing her around his home.

She said she grabbed a gun from his closet, and it went off, but she wasn't sure if she shot him. She had no explanation for his 27 stab wounds and slit throat. He had been shot in the forehead.

Arias also attempted to explain away her repeated lies. She first told authorities she knew nothing about Alexander's death, then later blamed it on masked intruders before eventually settling on self-defense.

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